On Tuesday, with help from the top 60 trade candidates list MLBTR’s Jeff Todd and Steve Adams put together last week, we took a look at the movable starters who have outpaced the rest of the pack in K/BB ratio this season. We’ll do the same here with qualified relievers in advance of the July 31 trade deadline…
Sam Dyson, RHP, Giants: K/BB ratio: 7:33
- Dyson’s just two years removed from being left for dead by the Rangers, who traded him to the Giants for a meager package in 2017. The 31-year-old has revived his career in San Francisco, though, and will garner a far better return this time if the Giants move him this month. Dyson has fanned 8.61 per nine innings against just 1.17 walks, induced grounders at a 55.6 percent clip and notched a nearly identical 2.74 ERA/2.73 FIP in 46 innings. Dyson, who’s on a $5MM salary, also comes with another year of arbitration eligibility.
Kirby Yates, RHP, Padres: K/BB ratio: 7.11
- Yates is going to be hard to pry out of San Diego. Multiple reports have indicated the Padres are understandably seeking a king’s ransom in return for the 32-year-old. Since the Padres claimed Yates off waivers from the Angels in April 2017, he has evolved into one of the game’s premier relievers. Yates owns a jaw-dropping 1.10 ERA/1.28 FIP with 14.05 K/9 against 1.98 BB/9 over 41 innings this season, and has made good on 30 of 32 save opportunities. Adding to Yates’ appeal, he’s making an affordable sum ($3,062,500) and under arbitration control for another season.
Will Smith, LHP, Giants: K/BB ratio: 6.22
- There has been widespread interest in the 30-year-old Smith, who – along with Dyson – has helped form an imposing late-game setup in San Francisco. Smith has recorded a 2.75 ERA/2.70 FIP with 12.81 K/9 and 2.06 BB/9 in 39 1/3 frames, during which he has converted 24 saves on 26 opportunities. Although Smith’s making a reasonable $4.225MM this season, the 30-year-old would be a rental for another team, as he’s due to hit free agency over the winter. Having charged back into the NL wild-card race of late, the Giants might not be locks to move Smith (or their other vets) on paper. However, they’re reportedly planning to sell in the next two weeks despite their recent hot streak. Smith figures to be in another uniform soon, then.
Ken Giles, RHP, Blue Jays: K/BB ratio: 5.89
- The 28-year-old Giles has dealt with an elbow issue since last weekend, but indications are it isn’t serious. If true, he should hold plenty of value around the deadline. Not only does he make a fair salary ($6.3MM) and come with another season of arbitration control, but the hard-throwing Giles is enjoying a career campaign. The former Phillie and Astro has registered a stunning 1.45 ERA/1.50 FIP with 15.39 K/9 and 2.61 BB/9 in 31 innings. Giles also ranks second among all relievers in swinging-strike percentage (20.4), and has blown just one save in 14 chances.
Tony Watson, LHP, Giants: K/BB ratio: 5.8
- With three Giants on this list, it’s no wonder president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi seems inclined to sell this month in lieu of taking what would likely be a futile run at a wild-card spot. Plus, at 34, Watson’s not exactly a long-term piece for the club. While Watson, who’s making $3.5MM this season, does have a player option for 2020, it’s likely he’ll decline the $2.5MM guarantee in favor of a trip to free agency over the winter. After all, Watson has logged a 3.03 ERA with 6.75 K/9, 1.16 BB/9 and a career-high 13.3 percent swinging-strike rate across 38 2/3 innings this year. On the other hand, Watson’s strikeout rate is a personal low, he’s allowing more home runs than ever (1.4 per nine) and his 4.35 FIP and 4.42 xFIP aren’t the marks of a late-game force. He’s also having an unexpected amount of trouble against lefties, who have lit him up for a .341/.356/.477 line in 2019. There’s a strong argument for the Giants to sell high on Watson.